Where do I begin? Do I express how our days are rapidly coming to an end in Peru? Do I cry about how sad that is making all of us? Do I write about how excited we are to get to Valdivia and start a new work? Do I vent about how I can't wait to leave Peru because I am tired of being associated with certain individuals and always having to say, "no we are not with them"? Do I say I can't wait until we don't see people who are "smiling faces" like the song sings about? Do I begin by saying how hard it is to leave Peru because all the Lord has done here and what not? Do I say we have so many mixed emotions and do not know how to deal with them? I just don't know! I sat down at my computer this morning at 7:45 to write out my heart. In the past it has always helped me to work through what I am feeling by writing out my thoughts. I have written severals posts this morning and deleted them. It is now almost noon. I still haven't be able to process or clearly express myself. I am sure glad I finished my sermon for Sunday yesterday. At this point I don't even know if I could manage to put a sound message together. This is uncharted territory for me and my family. Leaving Peru is the hardest thing we have ever had to do. It is harder to leave Peru than it was leaving California. Yet at the same time we are excited. It almost makes me feel guilty that I am excited. Most of the excitement though isn't about moving back to a coastal town or a town that has sausage. I am excited about starting a new work and those challenges, but more than anything I am just tired of being here and seeing people and what they do and the talking that goes on. We never try to air out our dirty laundry or speak to much on the hardships because......really what good does it do. I internalize a lot. I try to hold my tongue and never speak ill because gossip is an ugly sin. But I will say that I believe it is the Lord's grace that we go through certain trials and circumstances, but it takes the proper perspective to see that. I am glad to see true colors and all of that because it makes it easier to leave. Being surrounded by it, it is hard to keep your nose out of it. But once we are gone, the only thing we will hear about from Peru is from our church and our people. One of our national leaders told us the other day that he doesn't want to have any part of anything that is not from us or our sending churches. With us gone, it will make it so much easier for RCC to be independent from anyone else in this area. So that makes me excited, but then I think about all our people who we have invested in and have come to love so deeply. I think how my daughter who was born here is so proud to say I am Peruvian! I think about the simplicity of life here. I think of how blessed we are to be part of such a loving and selfless church. It brings tears. How are things going to look in Chile? Not sure! It definitely won't be a Peruvian church we will be part of. So we will have to learn how to "do" church again. One thing we never wanted to do here was export American evangelicalism but to bring biblical Christianity. We see too many people try to make "American Christians". I read a thought provoking statement the other day by David Platt who is president of the IMB. He said "we desperately need to explore how much of our understanding of the gospel is American and how much is biblical." Wow! This is one of the things that irritates me about so much I see. Yet, I need to make sure what we do isn't because we are American or because of church tradition but because it is gospel. So I have fears about Valdivia. But I know that if I take the path of Paul, and decided to know nothing among anyone except Jesus Christ and him crucified, I am going in the right way. One of the greatest complements I have received was the other night at our elders meeting. One of our elders said that our church is a church that preaches Christ and Him crucified and only that. We have seen lives change. People have come to trust in Christ. We don't have people raise their hands. We don't post pictures about how someone came to know the Lord or said some prayer. Especially in this culture. People will tell you anything because they are people pleasers. And besides, how do you know if the seed fell on good soil? You don't! We preach Christ and Him crucified at RCC and that will continue. In Valdivia, church will look different, but one thing will remain the same. We will preach Christ and Him crucified. We are not doing what we are doing to build our kingdom or our church or our style of American evangelicalism. We have had challenges here with all of that. It is hard to leave, but at the same time it is easy. I don't know what is in store in Valdivia, but I do know the Lord is moving us and our days are coming to and end here. Well, that it is it. I don't know what I have even just wrote or expressed or if it makes sense. I typed out what I was saying and I won't even go back and edit it because this is the rawest form of who I am. I just hope that in it and in some small way you see my open heart and my desire to honor Christ in all we do. But I also hope it reveals ways you can be praying for us.